LOOK: DFA chief, US Secretary of State meet in Washington
MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr. met with his counterpart US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on Friday (Philippine time) to discuss current efforts to address regional issues including the South China Sea.
“The two Secretaries discussed ongoing efforts to address regional issues such as the South China Sea, North Korea, and counterterrorism,” said deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino in a statement.
The Philippines is one of the claimants of the South China Sea, a strategic waterway believed to contain vast resources. While the US is not a claimant, it has expressed concern over China’s militarization of the disputed features and excessive maritime claims.
The two officials also reaffirmed the Philippine-US alliance including commitments under the decades-old Mutual Defense Treaty.
The meeting comes as a follow-up after their phone call in October when Locsin assumed office.
The two officials also “explored opportunities to increase people-to-people ties between our two countries, our longstanding commitment to human rights, and our cooperation to strengthen the Philippines’ energy security.” /je
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